Hello Mary,FMD Vaccinated stock
I am slightly rusty on all this, not least as nothing (that I am aware of, and I have been asking), has happened to make progress on these topics since the summer of 2005.Yes, the argument that vaccinated stock will be deemed unfit for export (and may well be deemed regionally unacceptable or undesirable within the UK) will undoubtedly impact on subsequent non-slaughter prices - the so-called 'two-tier' market.Yes, this is based on fear of carriers. No, the Government do not seem minded to compensate for loss of value arising from this, so this is a hurdle.However it could be overcome if united farmers had a reserve of cash from which to pay a balancing sum to redress this fairly minor discrepancy - provided NFU, NFUS, CLA all agreed this could be achieved quite fast as part of a cost sharing initiative, ie a small levy to build a pot of cash to prepare for the day when it is needed.However, I do not think this suggestion has made it to the table at Cost Sharing discussions, which I requested to attend (specifically to develop this point) but was refused.I do think that if farmers are responsible, collectively, for a proportion of the costs of the eradication of the disease, then optimally cost effective solutions would be found, such as this suggestion, by which a small amount of financial lubricant could grease the wheels of progress.Sadly, the debate often does not seem to get past the question "Why should farmers pay for what they / we cannot control, namely an issue the Government is responsible for, the security of our borders?"This is a valid enough point, and one in which the Government would do well make some accessions, such as having Stakeholder meetings, such as allowing Stakeholders to input into and monitor bio-security arrangements, and to be involved in the practice and monitoring of Contingency Plan rehearsals.
The other real issue is the meat from vaccinated animals - pretty much all milk is pasteurised anyway, which meets the heat treatment requirement.The swill feeding ban has removed most of the major routes for onward transmission. I am trying to think which routes remain - bones fed to dogs would be one (the alleged source of the 1968 outbreak), although this risk would be mediated presumably by asking livestock keepers or dogowners accessing livestock pasture not to feed bones to dogs until Disease Free Status regained.The bottom line is still, that if the CVO wanted to embrace vaccination to live using DIVA vaccines, he would have noticed these fundamental stumbling blocks in the path to their usage, and he would have been convening small and effective working groups to find cost-effective solutions to these tricky but solvable problems.The fact that we are still where we are now, (ie discussing this, foreseeing problems and trying to find solutions, ten years after the event, when Officials are paid to see this task through and are not), demonstrates that the CVO has no interest whatsoever in ever actually using vaccination to live - except, possibly, in a very 'worst case scenario', ie an act of war.He is not stupid. If he intended to be able to use these tools he would lie awake at night worrying how to shift these obstacles, and we would be aware of actions taking place to remedy them, quite possibly involved even, and could then feel that we have achieved something.We have achieved a lot, but we are not there yet. When DEFRA call us in to consult again on this issue, and see it through to a successful outcome, then I may begin to feel reassured. Not before.Chris.